Health and Emergency Services
Like in most European countries, the national emergency number is 112.
The largest public hospitals in the city are the São João General Hospital and the Porto University Hospital. Both have 24-hour emergency services. There are also public and private clinics and health care centres located throughout the city, some of which also offer 24-hour service.
To access public health services, the following documents are valid:
- Citizen Card for Portuguese citizens;
- EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) for European Union citizens;
- PB4 for Brazilian citizens. In this case, you just need to pay a user fee.
You can also call the 24-hour health hotline, SNS24, on 808 24 24 24.
In the case of private health care services, the respective fees need to be paid. It is possible to use a previously activated health insurance.
The main public security forces in Porto are the PSP (Public Security Police), which polices urban areas, and the GNR (Republican National Guard), which polices less densely populated areas. You can call for assistance using the emergency number: 112
There are also other police forces, like the GNR’s Traffic Force (responsible for traffic control), PJ – Judiciary Police (in charge of criminal investigation) and the Municipal Police.
Water and Waste Services
Porto has high-quality drinkable tap water, guaranteed by the city’s Water and Sewerage Municipal Services (SMAS).
The city also has many colour-coded recycle stations and bins for non-recyclable waste. It is up to each one of us to keep the city clean!
By metro, bus, train, plane or even by cable car, Porto is a city easily accessible and even easier to explore, thanks to a modern transport network designed to meet all the needs of the city's inhabitants or those passing through.
STCP is responsible for urban public transport services (buses) in the Porto metropolitan area. The most common method of travel is Andante, an intermodal system which allows travel with the same card on different means of transport. Tickets may be purchased at identified sales points (including Andante shops), stationery shops and kiosks.
The Porto metropolitan area is also served by a wide network of metro, which ensures the connections within the city and with the neighbouring cities. The ticket used to travel in the Porto Metro is also the Andante.
The circulation inside and outside Oporto is also assured by a wide network of railways (CP) that connect the Invicta to the main Portuguese cities (and not only). Air transport is provided by the Porto Airport - Francisco Sá Carneiro, the second largest in Portugal.
At Porto, you can also make excursions and visits, either by bus, boat (cruises of various types in different rivers), tram, cable car or even by helicopter.
Tourist Information and Youth Support
Recognised many times as the best tourism destination in Europe, Porto welcomes thousands of tourists every day. Life in the city, its culture and heritage are all factors that make Porto such a sought-after destination. This is also why the city is as dedicated as it is to supporting tourism with infrastructure and services such as guided tours, excursions, culinary experiences, boat trips, wine tastings, cultural events, etc., aside from increasing hotel capacity.
Porto has accommodation to suit all budgets and styles. To find what is best suited to you, all you need to do is browse through well-known booking websites or the Visit Porto website.
The IPJ (Portuguese Youth Institute) offers specific support to young people through their card that comes with multiple advantages – The Youth Card – and manages Youth Hostels, as well as many other activities, publications and projects.
In addition to the U.Porto’s libraries, there are also public libraries usually run by the Porto City Hall.
The city’s main libraries are:
- Porto Municipal Public Library (Rua D. João IV)
- Almeida Garrett Library (in the Palácio de Cristal Gardens)
There are more municipal libraries in Matosinhos and Vila Nova de Gaia. The opening times should be consulted in each establishment.
Bookshops and Stationery Stores
As a city that values literature, Porto benefits from a large network of bookshops (livrarias), second-hand booksellers (alfarrabistas) and stationery shops (papelarias), some of which are internationally renowned. Here are some examples:
- Lello Bookstore
- Livraria Poetria
- Livraria Papa-Livros
- Livraria Académica
- Moreira da Costa Alfarrabistas
- Livraria Chaminé da Mota
- Papelaria Araújo & Sobrinho
Among many others!
Tourist Information Offices
Tourist Offices ensure access to all kinds of services and information related to visiting and exploring Porto, aside from maps.
Depending on your location, you can visit various tourist information offices open to the public.
Famous for their vibrant and bustling high streets, the Santa Catarina, Boavista and Cedofeita districts have seen a long tradition as shopping destinations. There are also shopping centres with free parking located in the city centre and neighbouring areas.
The well-known Bolhão Market and the Bom Sucesso Market have been transformed into leisure spaces with restaurants and small shops. Small fairs and markets also take place across the city, such as the Feira da Vandoma, the Mercado Porto Belo, the Flea Market and the Mercado de Artesanato do Porto.